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Threats, truths and strategies: the overlooked relationship between protests, nation branding and public diplomacy

Jiménez-Martínez, César ORCID: 0000-0002-2921-0832 and Dolea, Alina (2024) Threats, truths and strategies: the overlooked relationship between protests, nation branding and public diplomacy. Nations and Nationalism, 30 (1). pp. 39-55. ISSN 1354-5078

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Identification Number: 10.1111/nana.12980


Although protests are an essential part of modern politics, scholars in nation branding, public diplomacy and soft power have had very little to say about these episodes. Discussions in the field have only marginally addressed dissent and disruption, falling into a methodological statism that emphasises what states do to construct and legitimise specific versions of national identity. Debates on nation promotion consequently overlook how individuals and organisations outside the state and outside national boundaries can be equally important in the construction and communication of national images. Drawing on domestic and foreign news coverage of protests in Brazil, Romania and Chile, we propose three frames to analyse the relationship between protests and nation promotion: (1) protests as threats, (2) protests as expression of the true nation and (3) protests as strategic communications. These frames shed light on how bottom-up efforts contest—overtly or covertly—state-sponsored versions of national identity and how protests are visibility arenas where competing discourses about the nation are communicated. Protests should therefore be acknowledged not as mere disruptions to national images or reputations but as another expression of the contingent, multifaceted and shifting nature of nationhood, particularly in highly mediatised contemporary societies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: J Political Science
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2023 14:36
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 21:33

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